Can You Be Considered a Success if You’re not Wearing Pants?

Posted on May 20, 2011


People ask me how I find time to write this blog every day, and I have to pause and consider whether I truly have “found time” to write this blog every day if I’m writing it while not wearing pants.  I’m certain I put on pants when I got out of bed this morning–or maybe I slept in my pants–but when I went to the door to accept a delivery, I looked down and discovered the darnedest thing–no pants.  I’m sure there’s an analogy or metaphor hiding in that no pants story somewhere, but I won’t spend too much time on it because the wearing of pants may be a passing fad and the story’s efficacy will fade with pants’ popularity.

I am not an absent-minded person.  I locked my keys in my car once.  Other than that I’ve never lost anything–keys, a wallet, a hostage, a hostage’s wallet, a hostage’s keys, the keys to the room where the hostage was locked, the keys to the lock box that contained the keys to the room where the hostage was locked, the wallet that contained a slip of paper with the code to the safe that contained the keys to the lock box that held the keys to the room where the hostage was locked, etc.  Although I do seem to lose my children’s artwork–almost immediately–and it always accidentally ends up in the same place.  (I’ll give you a hint: It starts with “tr” and rhymes with trash.)

On Sunday I found six pairs of shoes under my desk.  A bit of a surprise because I didn’t remember leaving even one pair under there.  I told my wife, we laughed, I put the shoes away, and on Tuesday I had five pairs of shoes under my desk again.

But I am not an absent-minded person.  I assume this is a short-term lapse in memory.  Unless it’s been happening for a long-time, and I’ve forgotten.  To be honest, I can’t remember how long I’ve been forgetting things.

Both times I collected the shoes and put them away on my shoe rack, but my wife later mentioned that I’d placed them on her shoe rack.  At first I thought she was trying to subtly apologize for making her shoe rack appear so deceivingly similar to mine, but I took a closer look and remembered that the shoes men wear are very different from the shoes women wear, and the high heels should have been a clue regardless of our shoe racks being the same color.

But I am not an absent-minded person.

And did I mention we take our shoes off at the door in our house?  I never, never wear shoes upstairs to my office except for the eleven times I accidentally did it in the past week, took them off under my desk, and then couldn’t figure out why I had no shoes next to the front door.

What does it all mean?

If I appear a bit distracted, I blame this blog.  I’ve always written regularly, but this blog has driven me to a higher level of distraction as I’ve given myself deadlines to post every day.  When I’ve written books in the past I may have experienced a burst of creativity where I shut out things like showering, shaving, and oncoming traffic for two or three weeks.  But I seem to have reached new levels of distraction while writing this blog while at the same time holding down my regular job and also working on other writing projects.  I keep forgetting little details like breakfast, lunch, dinner, and that I have children.

But I’m not complaining–I actually like it.  It makes me feel like a true artist, a distracted genius.  The more I’ve thought about it, the more I think I could benefit by developing more eccentric tendencies.  If I purposely act eccentric, will inspiration follow?

If I purposely become eccentric, is that eccentric?

Here is an honest list of things I’ve always wanted to do but hesitated because I worried about the disapproval of the fascinator-wearing society ladies who look up to me.  Now I’ve finally given myself permission to do whatever I want for the sake of my art.

1. I have always wanted a smoking jacket.  I don’t smoke.  I rarely need a jacket indoors, but I predict I’d look dashing.  I can imagine myself wearing it while referring to friends as “old bean” and “a top drawer egg”.

What a top hole rejoiner, old bean!

2. I’ve always wanted to punch a horse.  It’s a long story, but I promise you, horses have it coming.  They started it.  Don’t be surprised if you hear the following gossip on the street, “Did you hear Paul Johnson punched a horse?  He must be nuts or some kind of eccentric genius.”

3. I’m convinced I can teach my cat, Megatron, to use a toilet and flush.  Stay tuned…

4. I’ve been searching for a top hat for a year, but I can’t find one in my size.  If anyone knows a top hat dealer that specializes in large eccentric genius head sizes, please let me know.

5. I’ve never wanted a tattoo, but if I got one, it would be a tattoo of a mustache on my pointer finger, and when people got mad at me I would hold the mustache finger under my nose and say, “Who eez theez Pol?”

While writing this, my wife called and asked our address, which we’ve lived at for two years–is she a distracted genius, too?

Posted in: Columns